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Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council

Introduction

19th session of the Human Rights Council, Room XX © UN Photo/JeanMarc Ferre
19th session of the Human Rights Council, Room XX, Palais des Nations, Geneva
© UN Photo/JeanMarc Ferre


The special procedures of the Human Rights Council are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. The system of Special Procedures is a central element of the United Nations human rights machinery and covers all human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political, and social. As of 1 October 2014 there are 39 thematic and 14 country mandates.

With the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), special procedures undertake country visits; act on individual cases and concerns of a broader, structural nature by sending communications to States and others in which they bring alleged violations or abuses to their attention; conduct thematic studies and convene expert consultations, contribute to the development of international human rights standards, engage in advocacy, raise public awareness, and provide advice for technical cooperation. Special procedures report annually to the Human Rights Council; the majority of the mandates also reports to the General Assembly. Their tasks are defined in the resolutions creating or extending their mandates.
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Visual Directory


Directory of Special Procedures Mandate Holders

Special Procedures Visual Directory Accessible - August 2014
English
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Annual Fact and Figures 2013


Annual Fact and Figures 2013

English
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Civil Society Handbook

Civil Society Handbook

Click here Chapter VI - Special Procedures and the Full handbook here (PDF, 1,28MB)

Videos


Visit of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons -- Italy, September 2013

Visit of the Special Rapporteur on truth -- Uruguay, October 2013

Visit of the Special Rapporteur on the right to water and sanitation -- Brazil, December 2013



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Feature stories

Feature stories about the Special Procedures of the
Human Rights Council.
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Contact us


Postal address:
Special Procedures Division
c/o OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

Fax : +41 22 917 90 08

Climate change and human rights
The UN Independent Expert on human rights and international solidarity has urged the States gathering at a global climate change conference in Lima, Peru on Monday to unite and sincerely commit to a new robust legally binding agreement on greenhouse emissions.

Botswana / Cultural Rights
At the end of a 13-day official visit to Botswana, the UN Special Rapporteur on cultural rights Farida Shaheed called on the country to embark on a “second phase of nation building that reflects, builds on and celebrates the rich cultural diversity of the country.”

Sweden / Afro-Descendants
The United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent will conduct its first-ever official visit to Sweden from 1 to 5 December 2014 to study the human rights situation of people of African descent in the country.

Vulture fund litigation
Litigation between Argentina and so-called vulture funds in the US courts highlights the need to take human rights into account when negotiating and ruling on debt restructuring, two UN independent human rights experts have said.


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Contact us:


Postal address:
Special Procedures Division
c/o OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

Fax : +41 22 917 90 08

For further information on how to submit communications on alleged human rights violations, please read the webpage on Communications and send your submission to: urgent-action@ohchr.org.